As I wrote in a different article, rejuvenation biotechnology promises a range of benefits for individuals. Lest anyone thinks that’s all rejuvenation has to offer, I reckon it’s worth discussing other ways that this technology would benefit larger groups of people—namely, your friends and family. If you are rejuvenated, that’s all good for you, but is there anything good coming out of it for your dear ones? Oh, yes.
Two burdens relieved with a single shot
The ill health of old age is a formidable sword of Damocles looming over us all, and when it falls down, it typically does not hit just us; the elderly are certainly the primary victims, but their family are collateral casualties. When people lose their health and independence to aging, their families have to go through the pain of seeing their loved ones becoming more and more fragile, sick, dependent, perhaps even demented. Adding insult to injury, the troubles caused by aging don’t stop here, because a sick and dependent person needs looking after. Thus, the family of an elderly person needs to step in themselves to take care of their relative; if this is not possible, a nursing home is likely going to be the only option left.
Personally taking care of a sick elder is no joke. It requires patience, effort, and most of all, time. It’s a real challenge, especially so for people who have young kids of their own to look after. Let’s also not forget that it is emotionally very taxing.
The nursing home option may partly solve the problem, because there, somebody else does the caring for you, but telling your elders that you can’t take care of them any more isn’t the best feeling in the world, for you or for them. This can be a rather costly solution, too—and as much as every last penny spent to take care of a loved one is well spent, a typical family only has so many pennies, and just because they need them for grandpa, it doesn’t mean they can conjure money out of thin air.
As things stand, when we’re going to be old, our dear ones will be faced with the issues above; however, if a decent rejuvenation platform was in place by then, none of these issues would materialize, because we’d be healthy and independent in spite of our age. We would never be a burden on our dear ones, and the time we’d spend together would be quality time for us and for them.
Be there for those who care about you
Luckily for me, I’m still very far from that stage of life when all your friends of a lifetime keep dying. I like to think that there would be more than one person grieving for my loss, and I believe that would actually be the case for most of us. If we exclude few, rare scenarios, your friends, and family would probably rather have you alive and well than inside a coffin. Thanks to rejuvenation, your spouse, your children, your grandchildren, and your friends may benefit from your presence, life experience, and persona for a much longer time. This would be a benefit for you as well, because you could live through your 80s, 90s, and who knows how much longer, without having to bury a dear friend a few times a year.
Somebody think of the children!
Unlike what I discussed above, what follows is not an indirect benefit of your own rejuvenation for someone else; still, it may be a benefit for your dear ones that you may want to think about.
I certainly understand why we need to think of ‘the children’ specifically—they’re too young to take care of themselves. However, I say we should go a little further and care for them not only when they’re still children, but even later on; we should care for them as people. And your children, old or young, will always be your children; you spend a good chunk of your life protecting them and keeping them away from unnecessary suffering. Once they’re grown-ups, this is something they can do pretty much on their own, but they won’t be able to protect themselves from aging; nobody can do that. However, future children—future people—may never have to worry about their or anyone else’s aging, if we only put enough effort into rejuvenation research and advocacy today. Adults of today aren’t guaranteed to escape the grip of aging, but today’s children stand a much better chance. This, I think, is something we should all remember when we look at kids around us, particularly our own.